Help Support Aussie Homebrewer by donating:

  1. We have implemented the ability to gift someone a Supporting Membership now! When you access the Upgrade page there is now a 'Gift' button. Once you click that you can enter a username to gift an account Upgrade to. Great way to help support this forum plus give some kudos to anyone who has helped you.
    Dismiss Notice

5000 Year Old Egyptian Beer - Bouza

Discussion in ''Non Beer' Brewing' started by pdilley, 15/5/09.

 

  1. pdilley

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    28/2/09
    Messages:
    1,393
    Likes Received:
    29
    Gender:
    Male
    Home Page:
    Posted 15/5/09
    I've been saving this one for Dave, will dedicate it to him because ancient Egyptian bouza vividly illustrates the bread-beer connection. Archaeological digs have already shown that the bread and fermented drinks were made in the same building separated by a common wall. This recipe is adapted from the anthropological journal Food and Foodways and came to me from Sandor who's friend Kai, who used to live in Kenya, drank bouza there, and he confirms that this recipe reproduces the authenticity of the bouza. This also gives us a good insight into a link into the ancient Ales that were "bread" like in flavour and had to be drunk young as they spoiled rapidly if left after fermentation.

    Bouza has been consumed in Egypt continuously for 5,000 years. That tradition may be dying out today, as increasingly funamentalist Muslim authorities have outlawed alcohol and revoked licenses of bouza shops.

    Bouza requires only two ingredients, wheat and water, manipulated in incredibly clever ways. As stated above, the process for bouza vividly illustrates the bread-beer connection. Wheat formed into loaves of bread is part of the process, and traditionally the way yeast was stored for bouza making was in partially cooked loaves of bread, where the centre remained raw and full of live yeast. In essence, making bread was a convenient way to store the raw materials for brewing beer. -- As reported in Archaeology magazine.


    Timeframe: About 1 week

    Ingredients (for 1 gallon / 4 litres):
    o 4 cups (1 L) wheat berries
    o 1 cup (250ml) bubbly sourdough starter
    o Water


    Process:
    The process for making bouza consists of three distinct steps: malting, or sprouting one-quarter of the wheat berries; making loaves of the remaining wheat berries; and finally brewing the bouza out of these ingredients. The products of the first two processes are stable and storable, so there is no need to do it all at once.

    MALTING Stage

    1. Follow the process as with making Essene Bread. Soak the whole grains in water, in a jar for about 12 to 24 hours at room temperature.
    2. Drain and discard the water. Put the berries back in the jar. Cover the jar with a cloth and secure with a rubber band around the lip of the jar. Set the jar upside down to drain any extra water inside of another container such as a glass measuring cup.
    3. Rinse the sprouting grain with fresh water at least twice a day, morning and evening, more often if you can think about doing it during the day. In hot weather rinse more often. The goal is to keep the sprouting grain from drying out or molding.
    4. You'll know the grains have germinated when you see little tails emerging from them. Use the grains (or dry them) within 2 or 3 days of the signs of germination for maximum sweetness. Be sure to keep rinsing the sprouts at least twice a day.


    FORMING LOAVES Stage
    1. Coarsely grind the remaining 3 cups (750mL) of wheat berries. If you don't have a grain mill, its ok to use organic whole-wheat flour although you will lose about 24 nutrients that are removed by commercial mills to make the flour last for ages without rotting on the shelf.
    2. Add 1 cup (250mL) of bubbly sourdough starter.
    3. Mix into a stiff dough, adding additional water, just a little at a time, if needed.
    4. Form into a round loaf, and leave for 1 to 2 days to ferment.
    5. Bake the loaf at 150C for about 15 minutes so that the outside is cooked but the centre is still raw, with live yeast.


    BREWING BOUZA Stage
    1. Fill a crock or bucket with a gallon (4 liters) of water.
    2. Coarsely grind the dried malted wheat and add it to the water.
    3. Break the partially baked loaf apart and add it into the water.
    4. Add a little fresh sourdough starter if you are not confident you have left the loaf raw in the centre, stir, and cover the fermentation vessel with a cloth to keep out dust and flies.
    5. Ferment for about 2 days, then strain out the solids and drink. Bouza will keep for a week or two in the refrigerator.



    Cheers,
    Brewer Pete
     
  2. mwd

    Awful Ale Apprentice

    Joined:
    25/7/08
    Messages:
    2,513
    Likes Received:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Posted 15/5/09
    That's why Yemenis chew gat, Somalis jaad, and Ethiopians Chat

    Why bother brewing when you can chew a Kg of nasty leaves that taste worse than privit.

    Egypt is known as the lazyiest nation on earth they are still trying to find the contractor who built the pyramids to come and do Cairo.

    And they don't pay taxes if the re bar is still sticking out of the area where the roof should be. Grossly :icon_offtopic:
     
  3. Airgead

    Ohhh... I can write anything I like here

    Joined:
    6/4/05
    Messages:
    3,651
    Likes Received:
    1,046
    Gender:
    Male
    Home Page:
    Posted 18/5/09
    OK.. I'll bite.

    I grant you that 5000 years ago they were using the same yeast for bread and beer.

    In those intervening few thousand years our anscestors learned a lot about a bunch of stuff - urban sanitation, not making your water pipes out of lead, the usefulness of bathing, refrigeration etc. Among the many other useful things they learned was that some yeasts are better at certain things than others. Some yeasts are really good at making bread and they became bread yeasts. Some yeasts fermented grape juice really well so they became wine yeasts. Other yeasts are really good at fermenting beer and they became (wait for it) beer yeasts.

    I'm sure Bouza is a lovely drink (actually I'm pretty sure it's not) but it uses wild yeasts and bacterias. Not modern bread yeast. I'm sure bread yeast will ferment a beer or wine. That's basic yeast metabolism at work. Will it digest maltose? Or throw off nasty esters? Who knows. That's the point. When you have access to quality beer and wine years with known characteristics for a couple of dollars a pack, there is no excuse (not even JAO Mead) for using bread yeast.

    Cheers
    Dave
     
  4. newguy

    To err is human, to arrr is pirate

    Joined:
    7/11/06
    Messages:
    2,225
    Likes Received:
    33
    Gender:
    Male
    Posted 18/5/09
    Bouza sounds a lot like kvass.
     
  5. pdilley

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    28/2/09
    Messages:
    1,393
    Likes Received:
    29
    Gender:
    Male
    Home Page:
    Posted 18/5/09
    Sounds a hell of a lot like kvass! With all those flavour variations in kvass I'm sure it would make for a nice drink.

    I have had a Japanese boiled barley water tea called mugicha and that is damn fine in the summer time as a thirst quencher.

    The key is to keep trying new things :)

    Cheers,
    Brewer Pete
     
  6. manticle

    Standing up for the Aussie Bottler

    Joined:
    27/9/08
    Messages:
    25,707
    Likes Received:
    6,118
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Glenorchy, TAS
    Posted 18/5/09
    This was the only part of your post with which I had any contention.

    Please tell me where you are sourcing your yeast.
     
  7. pdilley

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    28/2/09
    Messages:
    1,393
    Likes Received:
    29
    Gender:
    Male
    Home Page:
    Posted 18/5/09
    Ah thats the crux of our difference between us. Before I start, I don't want to say you are wrong and this way is right, just to open your mind to possibilities while at the same time going and doing what you feel is right for yourself. I'd hate you to change your view, only if your own thoughts and questionings do it is it ok. I always feel you are a bit closed so all I want to do is open possibilities.

    I'll reword all your use of "a yeast" to strains of the same yeast as thats the most technically correct and I know you meant strain in intent.

    Some questions:

    If a particular strain of the same yeast is better at making wine than another strain of the same yeast which is better at making beer, does that invalidate the either of the strains genetics and enzymes applied to making pizza dough rise?

    Does being good at consuming sugars in one environment mean giving up the ability of consuming sugars in another environment?

    Is Mead Beer?, Is Mead Wine?
    Is Beer Mead? Is Beer Wine?
    Is Wine Mead? Is Wine Beer?
    Is Bread Beer? Is Bread Wine? Is Bread Mead?

    Who determines a strains suitability for a particular application? Is the the commercial reseller who is marketing the strain and whom has a vested interest? Is it the brewer who cross-ferments a whole panalopy of yeasts and finds one or more he prefers over the others? Is it the scientist in the lab with a page full of figures and facts about one strain over the other? Or is it the armchair brewer who does not do any cross-fermentation and talks about something he may have read about someone trying a strain in a completely different environment, scenario and then says its not going to work?

    OT: If you read the progress of Stringy Bark US05, I may be closing the 1/3rd Sugar Break thread with all the nay sayers left with nothing to back them up and end up proving it valid and correct.

    Can a strain of yeast make a great wine, and a great cider?
    How about a strain of yeast make great pizza dough, ale and some wines?
    Can a strain of yeast make a good Ale and totally destroy a Mead?

    OT: I can list a lot of beer yeasts that will completely destroy a Mead, some so much that even with aging the bad flavours will not mellow out with age.

    I can also tell you there's been a hell of a lot more than 57,000 litres of JAO brewed over the years with bread yeast since the original recipe formulation was posted online, and these same brewers also make a lot of other Mead recipes except JAO with wine yeast. Are they invalidated as having done and tasted first hand the results because you are uncomfortable using it out of principle and zero first hand experience? I can say that some have moved to the stage where they tried JAO with wine yeast and quickly reverted back on the next JAO. People like it so much they supersize the recipe to a full 19-23 litre brew batch size instead of the 5 litre original recipe.

    All I ask is be open, don't be afraid to experiment, to go outside the lines into uncharted territory. To not hold back because data sheets are not available outside a limited scope of application of a particular strain of yeast. Keep the batches small so you don't risk much.

    But as always, your choice is respected, I just want to cheer you on with you :)

    Cheers,
    Brewer Pete
     
  8. JonnyAnchovy

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    4/11/08
    Messages:
    875
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Home Page:
    Posted 18/5/09
    At the moment I've got a couple of Russian housemants - last week their parents came over to visit and brought the extract needed to make Kvass. We mixed it up in a 5L demijohn and fermented it for a few days and drank the whole thing very quickly. It was delicious, tasted like liquid dark rye bread.

    Best thing is I still have a big tin to make another few batches!
     
  9. pdilley

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    28/2/09
    Messages:
    1,393
    Likes Received:
    29
    Gender:
    Male
    Home Page:
    Posted 18/5/09
    Sounds yum, i'm a finnish rye bread nutter myself so I'd probably go for it. Best thing with your starter if you keep in in perpetual use you'll be set. Have to send some to Canberra or swing by :p I just did my Sydney trip few weeks back.

    Still interested in the fruit flavours in kvass.

    Cheers,
    Brewer Pete
     
  10. Airgead

    Ohhh... I can write anything I like here

    Joined:
    6/4/05
    Messages:
    3,651
    Likes Received:
    1,046
    Gender:
    Male
    Home Page:
    Posted 19/5/09
    Ross sells a few dry yeasts $1.70/pack. There are also some others for under $5.

    My source is even cheaper - I have them all on slants...

    Cheers
    Dave
     
  11. JonnyAnchovy

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    4/11/08
    Messages:
    875
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Home Page:
    Posted 9/6/09
    Just reviving this one to let pete know the Russians just brewed another batch of Kvass - Drinking a big glass right now.

    we tend to drink as fermentation continues (not worrying about infection at all, because the gallon is gone in under 10 days. Starts off sweet and attenuates out thought the week. Its awesome!
     
  12. felten

    Homebrew Conjecturist

    Joined:
    13/5/09
    Messages:
    2,536
    Likes Received:
    44
    Gender:
    Male
    Home Page:
    Posted 9/6/09
    Apparently beer was one of the staple daily rations of the slave workers, no wonder they all signed up to build the pyramids. :party:
     
  13. technocat

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    31/8/07
    Messages:
    620
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Home Page:
    Posted 9/6/09
    And the booze ban came about because they were getting pissed and chucking loaves of bread at each other.
    Sorry about that, brain not working properly this morning.

    :party:
     
  14. pdilley

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    28/2/09
    Messages:
    1,393
    Likes Received:
    29
    Gender:
    Male
    Home Page:
    Posted 11/6/09
    Cheers for that J.A.,

    If you end up brewing it all the time I'll have to do one. Make a brew your own Kvass post in this forum for us to follow :)

    Cheers,
    Brewer Pete
     
  15. Renegade

    Awaiting Exile

    Joined:
    3/5/09
    Messages:
    994
    Likes Received:
    1
    Home Page:
    Posted 11/6/09
    I saw a documentary years ago that suggested that ancient Egyptians used a type of lotus flower that was an ingredient in their wine or beer called Nymphaea caerulea. After checking out Aussie customs laws that it was legal to import (it was, then at least - and the parcel was even checked before it reached my house), I ended up buying a few hundred grams from a Thailand distributor that farms the flowers and steeping it in red wine for a couple of weeks. It was very interesting, kind of like all the positive 'happy' buzz of being tipsy, multiplied by about five, and with none of the negative effects of too much alcohol. About 10 grams flower/300ml red wine was the dose.

    Anyone heard of this in ancient Egyptian beer or winemaking lore ? Ive probably still got a bit of the stuff kicking around here, maybe I should try a five litre mini-brew, although I doubt its still active.
    <h1 id="firstHeading" class="firstHeading">
    </h1>
     
  16. pdilley

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    28/2/09
    Messages:
    1,393
    Likes Received:
    29
    Gender:
    Male
    Home Page:
    Posted 11/6/09
    :icon_offtopic:
    I'd have to know the active compound to do a check on if it has any effect on primarily the liver or effect when combined with alcohol to see what it does.

    More so than your desired effect, it is reported to contain phosphodiesterase inhibitor compounds. You know, the active ingredient in Viagra ;) so maybe worry if you drink to much about some possible side effects :p

    Hmm no wonder the Egyptians loved it so much back then :D

    Cheers,
    Brewer Pete
     

Share This Page